If you enjoy your hobby write a blog.

Photo by Camille Kimberly on Unsplash

When I wrote my first opinions on this blog I did it mostly to vent some criticisms related to the audiophile hobby. I was truly tired of not having a voice in the community.
After being quiet for decades I had the need to stand my ground on controversial subjects, even if I had to criticize and offend other enthusiasts along the way.
These days I must admit that I don’t feel the urge to complain so much. Writing on my blog actually released me from the frustration of not having a voice, so now I don’t need to be so blunt when I see companies trying to sell snake oil to audiophiles or other related bullshit.

I believe having a voice and a space also made me a better person online, I don’t feel so inclined to be a asshole when participating on audiophile communities. Looking at the current state of some forums I also believe many commentators should actually write a blog to release all of their hate speech, saving some newbies along the way.

In fact it’s my opinion that if you truly enjoy your hobby, you should write about it if your time allows it and your inspiration gives you a hand from time to time.
It’s fun to have our own uncensored online notepad. Communities like Reddit and forums belong to people or companies with their own agendas, so in those usually highly moderated places it’s hard to give an honest opinion without being down-voted to oblivion or harassed by other users. I more often than not watch really good opinions being down-voted by the community just because they don’t follow the sheepish opinion those users have about a brand or topic.

Lets not forget that in those communities discussions can be toxic for newbies, making them frustrated for not having the “golden ears” some audiophiles claim they have, like it’s some God given gift that only they can achieve.
These days when I visit some communities, users often discuss topics like they are in a competition. Everyone wants to win but in the end nobody actually wins anything besides some kind of status which can be removed as soon as the administrators feel you are attacking their sponsors and source of income.  Looking at the fast pace things change the best way to actually have a voice is to write on a blog.
Discussions can still happen and people can refute your opinions on their own blogs.

My wife often laughs at me when I’m ardently fighting discussing something on a social network, deep down I also laugh because I know it’s a total waste of precious time.
I could be using all that time to actually write about things I enjoy on my own blog.
Social networks are an amazing way to find people and chat about daily news but they are too volatile to be of any use in the long run. That’s why all the best articles I often read are on websites or blogs, in those places time has a different meaning and the readers actually read, unlike the users of social networks which are expected to interact with the platform.

In the end if you enjoy your hobby and want to learn more about yourself and the world, I highly advise you to write a blog one day.

Crazy collector prices in ebay and other strange occurrences.

Since my last article about the history of Beyerdynamic I had very little free time for writing, after all this is a personal blog and I work night shifts, so inspiration is not really around the corner.
On a very personal level some important things happened or are happening right now, so these days my mind isn’t really on this blog. I suppose the only good side of not making money from my writing is not actually having a schedule to follow, I write when I’m in the mood and that’s about it.
This is the part where I should promise making more updates and all that Jazz, but I’ll not make promises I can’t keep. I will on the other hand promise that I’ll try to share more photos of my compact disc and book collection just for kicks. After all vinyl enthusiasts do it all the time so why can’t compact disc collectors do the same.

Franklin’s Indians

As for those collections, these last weeks were positively inspiring and quite expensive to be
completely sincere.
My music collection is slowly growing thanks to some online purchases on Ebay and CDON. Albums by Laura Pausini, Jimi Hendrix and the first three scores from the Indiana Jones movies are now in my possession. I’m still waiting for two Laura Pausini live albums and two studio ones by Meat Loaf.
In the book department and thanks to Ebay, I finally bought some books by David Hepworth, Akio Morita and Michael J. Fox, most of them are used but I don’t mind at all.
I also bought two pretty amazing books from other places, one is called “Franklin’s Indians” and the other is “Jazz Covers“, both books are excellent in my opinion. “Franklin’s Indians is about one of my favorite motorcycle brands. As for “Jazz Covers” it’s a very visual book about the covers of Jazz vinyl albums, it’s one of those book which is perfect for the vinyl audiophile. On a curious collector note, I paid 7€ for the Indian book, an amazing deal because these go for more than 30€ new and on amazon.com some try to sell them for more than $200!

Now let’s talk about Ebay and the reason for the strange title you read above.
Sellers these days are getting quite absurd for the money they request for old Sony Walkmans, some not working at all. I won’t even try to explain my anger when I see the price some ask for a original blue colored Sony TPS-L2 Walkman, more absurd is the fact some Marvel collectors actually buy it for insane prices just because it was in a movie! This arrived to the point of some people painting historical models that resemble the L2 just to sell them for more cash, disgusting I know but some Ebay sellers are completely bonkers.
That’s also a pretty good reason why I think the director of Guardians of the Galaxy trolled those sellers and collectors with a certain Microsoft flop, besides the joke that was intended on the movie of course.

Sony TPS-L2

Anyway most vintage cassette Walkmans sold on Ebay these days are very expensive and sadly most were pieces of entry level gear at the time they were released so I don’t get the hype behind the sellers raising their prices.
Not all were entry models to be fair, some Walkmans were top of the line and I totally understand the higher prices for those, the TPS-L2 was a great machine for it’s time but the hype behind the pricing is totally unnecessary from my point of view. Sure we are not obliged to buy such a thing but sometimes I wish Sony would release a new L2 just to troll these people.

Ebay is a curious place full of strange occurrences.
I don’t buy really expensive stuff there but I often can’t believe the “no return” policy of some sellers, some of which don’t even take detailed photographs of their items or explain their current state. They go as far as to say that it’s the buyer who should make the questions, lazy unprofessional bastards!
Items marked “as is” or “not tested” only show the seller doesn’t really care about who buys the item, what’s important is to sell it to make a profit.  My favorite one is the “as new” in the description, when it doesn’t have all the accessories of a new item.
Ebay has all some fault in the current state of things, but sellers and buyers are also to blame. If people refused to buy bullshit, I’m sure many sellers would update their way of doing things.
Then there’s shipping, some sellers abuse the shipping option and increase their prices. Some will say it’s all part of the game but I prefer to call it bullshit fraud.

Not all things are bad on Ebay but some very strange occurrences do happen from time to time. As for me I’m glad I can buy stuff there, it saved me hundreds of Euros in a very short time.
That’s all for now and see you soon if things go as planned.

My domain is up and running.

I got one grip about using the .pt domain.
I can’t anonymise the whois, lucky me that I gave my old address (still redirects to my new one) , even so my email is there and I can’t do much about it because I was under the impression that I could put my whois private like in .com domains…so yea I’m upset about it.
On the bright side, If I forget to pay my renewal they wont ask me 160€ to renew the domain. I’ll have 40 days for free and pay way less if I forget.
I also have an email address that I need to setup.

Magazines, news, written stuff and some thoughts.

They are faces of the same coin, in one you can read about audiophile gear
and in the other you can read about music. They are called “Audio & Cinema
em Casa” and “Blitz”
These two magazines are old in Portugal, the audiophile one is about 20
years old and the music one comes from the newspaper with the same name
that started running in 1984.
I don’t always buy these magazines, these days I have a digital
subscription for the audio one, because I had a heavy discount and I buy
the music one if I’m in the mood.
These magazines are the effort of countless work hours and I’m sure nights
without sleep, because of that they are references in Portugal.

I admit the Internet almost killed my enjoyment for professional written
articles. In this fast paced world of instant news and amateur journalism,
anyone can write about audio gear and music, but few are the sites that can
make me devour text like these magazines do.
People sometimes forget that most online news come from the professional
press, be it printed or digital. If you think about it all news come from
the same sources, amateurs just filter all the noise and post small
articles on niche sites or blogs. Now that’s all fun and games but because
they can’t actually copy all the content stuff gets lost in the transition.
I enjoy reading from professional sources because most news aren’t half
backed on someones attic or basement. Pros have direct access to things few
fans have, unless they are the presidents of an official fan club or
something like that.

I don’t actually follow many audio gear/music sites on the internet, I can
visit them to have a little snack but few are the sites that can make me
return after some days.
I do follow some youtube channels and many personal blogs.
Most sites have a loyalty problem with people like me, we jump for site to
site searching for our favorite news, so sites make forums and other honey
traps but in the end the result is only the delay of the departure of the
reader. Magazines might try those tricks but in the end it’s the written
material that counts, a bad magazine goes down the drain fast, a bad site
can be up for a long long time and that’s why we have so many shitty
websites about music and audiophile gear that plague the web.

I don’t put personal sites or blogs on the shitty list even if the are
awful looking and bad written like mine is. I mean if someone takes time to
rant about magazines and news from his/her point of view you already know
it’s a personal opinion, the same can’t be said about a site made really
for enthusiasts of some hobby, it might show personal views but it also
needs to have reliable news and unbiased articles, something even good
magazines have trouble keeping balanced.

I think anyone can write but no blog/website can beat a good professional
Some people should hammer that on their minds before embarking on projects
thinking about making easy money from niche communities.
Remember my Grado RA1 clone rant? It’s the same but for websites….all of this because I’m so F#$%#$ tired of website owners thinking they are the next What’s Hi-Fi or Rolling Stone magazines

Not all things are bad, for example InnerFidelity is a fine example of
something done right because it has a great reviewer. Few sites can
balance ads, reviews, good articles like he can. No I’m not getting paid by
him! 😉

Addendum: (I found out InnerFidelity belongs to a huge umbrella of tech sites, even so I still think its a fine example of a website as of this writing) 

Now I’m gonna read a good magazine if you don’t mind…